Researchers develop new class of antibiotics to fight leading superbugs

March 29, 2018

In a significant advance against drug-resistant superbugs, investigators supported by the Harvard-wide Program on Antibiotic Resistance have identified a new class of synthetic antibiotics that have been shown to be effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus. The newly discovered antibiotics could one day help treat deadly infections caused by these superbugs.

The research group, which included Michael Gilmore, PhD, Sir William Osler Professor of Ophthalmology, described their pioneering work in Nature.

“Antibiotic resistance is a leading public health concern that threatens everyone, especially patients who undergo complex surgeries,” said Dr. Gilmore, who directs the Harvard Ophthalmology Infectious Disease Institute.


The Harvard-wide Program on Antibiotic Resistance includes researchers from Mass. Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Mass General Hospital, and Brown University. It was created to bring clinician scientists and researchers together to identify new antibiotics and slow the spread of resistance. Since 2011, the National Institutes of Health has awarded Mass. Eye and Ear more than $20 million to lead the program.

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